Diesel registrations break record in November

The number of people picking up vehicles with diesel engines hit a record high last month, according to new figures.

Statistics from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the amount of drivers with the environmentally-friendly component in their cars looks set to pass the 2.4 million mark in 2007.

Over the course of the month, some 158,735 diesel automobiles were registered, representing the highest volume for November since 2004.

But Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive, believes the numbers "are still a long way from the records set in 2003".

He said: "New diesel engines are around 20 per cent more fuel-efficient than a petrol equivalent – good news for the motorist at times of rising fuel costs and it also means a similar saving on CO2 emissions."

Environmental awareness has been raised in recent years by former US vice president Al Gore, who set up the Live Earth concerts across the world last summer.

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